Now that my plan describes the runs in terms of minutes rather than miles, I have to come up with completely different long run summary titles. (#firstworldproblem, I know)
Today Mom and I headed to the Swamp Rabbit. It’s been about a month since I’ve run on the SRT and apparently a month in Travelers Rest time is a pretty long time. So many awesome changes are happening in downtown TR!
For the first three quarters of the run, I concentrated on taking it easy. That’s a hard thing to do when running with Mom because she loves to run sub 9 minute miles on all her runs. (Also, that problem is definitely a good one to have.)
Mom did have to make a couple pit stops but other than that we ran strong. We also managed to avoid all the cyclists out on the trail today, including one group of 48. (Yes, of course I counted.)
Throughout the easy pace (8:39-8:54) section, I felt really strong. Part of that, I’m sure, had to do with the beautiful weather today. I’m surprised that I didn’t see more runners out taking advantage of one last cool morning before summer truly sets in. (In fact, I tend to see way more runners out on the trail in the height of the summer heat and humidity than I do at any other time during the year.)
About 15 minutes before I entered the “fast finish” phase of the run, Mom turned around to head back to the car. She finished with a solid 8 miles.
As soon as she turned around and I was running on my own, I noticed a difference. I run by myself most of the time and for the most part prefer it that way. However, running on my own feels a lot harder if I have to do it during a run that I had just been running with someone else.
Just before I finished the “easy” portion of the run, Matt came biking by. This time I recognized him and even had a little “conversation.” “Conversation” is in quotes because I have difficulty thinking coherently while running. I’ll take the fact that I recognized him as a sign that I might be getting a little better at the whole thinking while running thing.
Then came the “fast finish” portion of the run. The prescription for this part was a range of 8:05-8:15.
I know I’ve mentioned it countless times before, I have difficulty regulating my pace without near constant Garmin checking. I also have difficulty forcing myself to stay on the target pace without pushing the pace to the faster side.
I had success with one of those things today. I’m still not that great with self-regulating my pace but hopefully that will come with more pace-specific workouts that I’m sure I’ll be given. However, I did manage to stick within the prescribed pace range today and that made me so happy!
Before, I probably would have tried to push the pace for those 25 minutes to sub 8 just because. Today I focused on trying to stay in that range and at the same time figuring out what that specific pace felt like.
I also made use of the lap function. (Would you look at me finally getting more use out of this device than a stopwatch/distance tracker? It took me only 3+ years.)
When I started the faster portion I hit the lap button. Imagine my surprise when a mile later I get an unexpected lap alert (I’m used to distance alerts which usually are the same as the lap) which also gives me the time for that lap, 8:11. Right on target! The next two miles were right on target too, 8:06 and 8:07. This makes me happier than it should. 🙂
I will admit. I did indulge in a little more speed for the last 30 seconds or so but I think that’s okay.
Here’s to another successful long run in the books! (Can’t wait to go longer!)